Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Honor of Veterans Day-A Little Family History

Pictured above are my grandparents, Joe and Patricia Culbertson.  The picture was taken shortly after they were married and days (I want to say THE day but its been awhile since I was told the story as my grandparents passed away in 1997 and 1998) before my grandpa shipped out to Hawaii to serve with the Navy.  He loved to tell me this story when I was a kid.  I used to have a letter that he wrote to my grandma shortly after arriving in Hawaii but its gone now.  I think my mom may have it but not sure.
My grandma also served with the Navy/Red Cross as a nurse.  She was stationed in CA and cared for wounded soldiers.
They, like many back then, married quickly after meeting since my grandpa was shipping out soon.  They did not know if he would return or not.  Thankfully he did and they went on to raise 11 children, 9 of their own including my mom.  Four of their children went on to serve in the Navy, Marines and Army.

The photo above and the fact that it is Veterans day inspired this Blog:

I am big time into Family History and also enjoy learning about the Historic periods during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and WWII.  I am honored to say that I have family members who served in all of those wars (as well was WWI, The Korean War and Vietnam that are known of, there may be more).

I am blessed to have a nifty little book(pictured above) that lays out my family history for me on my maternal grandfathers side.  It does not go into details of who or when but it is assumed that my family fought in the Revolutionary War as they arrived in America somewhere around 1691, possibly before.  Records are hard to find that far back.  I hope they fought on the American side.

The book briefly details that the name of Strickland originated in England and appeared as early as 1235 but actual records can only trace the portion of the Stricklands I am a descendant of to around the mid 1600's with Matthew Strickland II living in the Isle of Wright Co, VA.  There is no birth date, only a death date of 1691.  It is assumed, therefore, that there was a Matthew Strickland I who must have immigrated to the Isle of Wright Co, VA at some point in the mid to late 1600's as the land Matthew II had was a land given through inheritance but no records of his life/existence have been found.  It is assumed he immigrated from England but again is not certain.

Early Strrickland Family Line

John Thomas Strickland was my Great Great Great-Grandpa, I think.  I admit get confused easily with this.  His daughter, Olivia, was my grandpa's grandma and her son, Louis, was his dad.  So Louis would be my great-grandpa, Olivia my great great-grandma and then John T. my great great great-grandpa.  Whew, my brain hurts now haha.

John T. Strickland served and died in The Civil War.  He was Conscripted into the Confederate Army.  Wish he would've served on the Yankee side but what can ya do.  He was conscripted which mean he did not go voluntarily and was just forced to serve on the side that the state he lived in (Missouri) was fighting on.  There are several awesome letters he wrote to his family while at war that are included in the book.  I tried to include them at the bottom of this post but I do not have a scanner so I had to take pictures with my camera, I hope you can read them as it is really interesting.  Talk about fighting, starvation, many eating their own horses to survive and his knowledge that he was dying and would likely never make it home to see his family again.

John T Strickland with his wife Narcissus (they had some interesting names back then!)

John Thomas was born July 5, 1828 in Garrett Co, Georgia.  He died at Arrowrock in Saline Co, MO on July 7, 1865 while returning home to his family after serving in the Civil War.
John T. Strickland married Narcissus Adeline in Garnett Co, Georgia on November 25, 1851.
They had 6 children:
John Clement  Born Oct 22, 1852  and  Died Oct 9, 1853
Olivia  Born March 5, 1954  and Died Jan 6, 1946
Henry Lee born Feb 14, 1857  and Died Feb 28, 1922
Isaac Thomas  born March 14, 1859 and Died Feb 28, 1935
Joseph Allen  born Nov 7, 1851  and Died Jan 24, 1923
Esther Elizabeth  born Nov 25, 1863  and died April 22, 1941

As you can see from the dates they immediately had a child after they were married.  Sadly, their first child died before he even turned 1.  There are no details in the book as to why but I have seen a lot of babies/children who died early on throughout the book (as it traces the lines of all 6 of their kids).  This is especially true of any listings from the 1800-1900s.  It makes me sad to think of those children and the pain of their parents.  I would love to one day try to go in and find records of these events for myself to see the details of what happened but I may never know the reasons why.
It also shows that their youngest was born in 1863 so I wonder if John T ever even got to meet little Esther Elizabeth as he died in 1865.  It says he was Conscripted into the Confederate Army Oct 12, 1864 so I guess he did get to see her first year of life.

Olivia Strickland, my Great Great-Grandmother, went on to marry Mr. John Culbertson  on April 20, 1871 and they settled in Kansas City, MO.
They only had 1 child, a son named John Louis Culbertson, went by the name  Louis, who was born June 23, 1887.  Again, the book does not go into much details of their lives but back then it was a rarity to only have 1 child so I wonder if Olivia suffered from some infertility issues and if there were more pregnancies they never went full term, I will probably never know the details on this either.

Louis Culbertson went on to marry Nellie Mae Morris July 7, 1909.  He served in WWI in the Navy and they had 4 children together.
Nelson Earl  born June 27, 1910
Joe Durl  (my grandpa) born Oct 24, 1921  he died Dec 6, 1997
Margaret Olivia  born Aug 19, 1923
Esther Lee  born March 19, 1926

None of the above are living today but as of the date when this book was made they all were, therefore I do not have death dates for them.  This book was made in 1962 WAY before the Internet.  So I think, if I actually applied myself, I could turn up a lot more details on the lives of these people.

Joe Durl Culbertson went on to marry a woman named Betty Tash (not my grandma!) in 1941.  They had 2 children named Carolyn Jo,and Jacquelyn Lee.  They were divorced however in 1945, SCANDALOUS for those days.  I do not know all the details as I was never told, but my grandpa had sole custody of the 2 and my grandma helped raise them as her daughters.  However, they do not associate with our family.  I can count the number of times on 1 hand that I saw them at any family function as a child.  I assume they are still living. (UPDATE-8/13/2011, discovered Carolynn died in Jan 2011, exact date unknown)
He then married my grandma, Patricia Albers on June 6, 1946.  How sad that I know she was born on Aug 1 but have no idea in what year (the book does not say) (UPDATE- 8/13/2011- went to the Culbertson/Marshall Family Cemetery today and saw the birth date on the headstone listed as 1928).  She died in April 2,1998.  They had 9 children together.  One died as an infant from SIDS, she was my moms twin sister.  Another died as a teenager in a house fire, his name was Jerry.  Two more died as adults, my Aunt Terry in a car crash and my Uncle Timmy in a private plane crash.  Only 5 are still living to this day, including my mom but unfortunately, through bad choices they have made, I only ever see my oldest uncle.  He has brain damage that he suffered in a motorcycle accident and has the mentality of a child, he lives with my mom as he cannot care for himself completely.<-- UPDATE 08/13/2011  My Uncle Louis Culbertson died Aug 1, 2011.  Cause of death still unknown at this time.  His body was not discovered for 2 days-see blog here- funeral was held Sat Aug 13, 2011.  Private family graveside service only.  Body was cremated, ashes buried next to my grandparents.  No marker as of yet but one will be placed soon provided by the VFW.  Louis was a Vietnam Vet.

Some day, when my children are older and I have more free time, I plan to look into the family history in more depth.<-- UPDATE 08/11/2011 Inspired by seeing the family cemetery in Collins, MO I am trying to look more into this now.  Blog coming soon.  Oldest READABLE headstone dates back to 1777 (birth date, not death date, death date was 1816).  Many more headstones that were so worn and faded they were unreadable, a few headstones were nothing more than large rocks/boulders.

Here are the letters from John T. Strickland to his family while serving in the Confederate Army:

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